Sunday, June 28, 2015

How Freud’s Couch Became a Pop-Culture Phenomenon

In 1889 Sigmund Freud was still relatively new in his field, or what we’d call pre-Freudian Freud. At 33 years old, working as an assistant to another psychiatrist, he hadn’t had any of his big ideas yet.
Freud was mostly practicing hypnosis, which was a cutting-edge but controversial treatment. One day Freud gets a new patient, a very wealthy woman named Fanny Moser. Moser was struggling from all kinds of ailments—hysteria, sleeplessness, pain, and odd tics, and she had lots of doctors. When Moser came to Freud, he would have her lie down on a couch, just like he did with his other patients. A lot of hypnotists used couches to get patients into a more relaxed state, but Freud especially needed it because he was kind of a clumsy hypnotist.
Freud would tell Moser, “You’re very getting sleepy,” and she would insist that, no, in fact, she wasn’t. Instead, Moser wanted to talk. At first Freud would interrupt her with his theories, but she wasn’t having it. She wanted to tell him her stories. That’s when the light went on. Freud realized that if you just let patients talk and don’t say anything, they will let down their defenses, and the unconscious will be revealed. This is the moment when the pre-Freudian Freud becomes the Freudian Freud. The Freudian Freud’s new techniques and theories for therapy would come to be called “psychoanalysis,” and it would be embodied, in practice and popular culture, by a single piece of furniture: the couch. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Philosophers Football - Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus

"Hegel is arguing that the reality is merely an a priori adjunct of non-naturalistic ethics, Kant via the categorical imperative is holding that ontologically it exists only in the imagination, and Marx is claiming it was offside." Monty Python Philosopher's football

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Porte-fenêtre à Collioure

Henri Matisse, Porte-fenêtre à Collioure, huile sur toile, 116,5 x 89 cm, 1914.

Mineral Violence

The vast sadness of my family
is an ocean rehearsing its sorrow
against the intractable night.

By light we are careful, bruised and
beautiful as script, hair tangled
from evening’s beating. We stoop

to inspect the night’s debris
and do not recognize black
half-hearts of shell (that are ours),

wool of kelp. The jetty’s battered
knuckles count the endless waves
rolling in. Watching birds drawn

as graphite on sky, we forget
our night deaths. I do not understand
this, nor our strange thick hair, only

that I am of it. Wheat of my mother,
father’s beard of bees: I am their
provided. O mineral violence

release their salt traffic, their
hovering at sea. I will exist.
Give them what they want.

Quinn Latimer, “Mineral Violence”, 2010

Ο θεατρικός Δημήτρης Δημητριάδης. Εξερευνώντας τη δυνατότητα του αναπάντεχου

Αποτυπώνοντας μια πορεία δημιουργικής αλληλεπίδρασης είκοσι χρόνων, ο ανά χείρας τόμος αποτελεί ένα πρώτο εργαλείο προσέγγισης του συγγραφέα Δημήτρη Δημητριάδη ως δραματουργού, καθώς αρθρώνει το θεωρητικό πλαίσιο της ζωτικής σχέσης του με το θέατρο, που παραμένει ως προς σημαντικές περιοχές της ακόμη αδιερεύνητη.
Ταυτόχρονα προσφέρει αφορμή αναστοχασμού στα ευρύτερα ζητούμενα της σύγχρονης θεατρικής γραφής: Πώς εξελίσσεται η δραματική φόρμα; Μπορούμε να μιλάμε ακόμα γι’ αυτήν ως είδος και με ποιους όρους; Πώς απαντά και πώς θέλουμε να απαντά το θέατρο στην πραγματικότητα; Πώς συναντά η έννοια του «ποιητικού» την έννοια του «πολιτικού» θεάτρου; Ως προς τι διαφοροποιείται το θεατρικό κείμενο από τη δραματοποιημένη λογοτεχνία; Και από την άλλη, τι δυνατότητες προσφέρει στον σκηνοθέτη ένα αμιγώς θεατρικό κείμενο;
Τέτοια ερωτήματα θίγονται μεταξύ άλλων σ’ αυτή την πρώτη μονογραφία που αφιερώνεται στον διεθνώς αναγνωρισμένο πλέον έλληνα δραματουργό, που επιχειρεί ως νέος τραγικός να ξαναδώσει στο θέατρο τις ιλιγγιώδεις, τρομακτικές διαστάσεις του, να διανοίξει τη σκηνή εκ νέου στη δυνατότητα του αναπάντεχου.

 Δήμητρα Κονδυλάκη, Ο θεατρικός Δημήτρης Δημητριάδης. Εξερευνώντας τη δυνατότητα του αναπάντεχου, εκδοσεις Νεφελη, 2015

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Hostel, 2015
wood, acrylic, oil, marble, tissue,
74 x 59 x 24 cm

Shiny Front

Is it you, sadness? Maudit
chiffre ma tête

des grammes, de la raison
en grammes

Pas meilleur

Is that you, wayside station?
School patrol badge?

Overcoat with the shiny front?
Static hem?

Erin Mouré

Short Talk On Housing

Anne Carson, “Short Talk On Housing”, 1992

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Robert Rauschenberg's Endless Combinations

When you're Looking for the Robert Rauschenberg archive, everything starts to resemble a Rauschenberg. The chance juxtaposition of a vibrant yellow school bus next to a red Staples sign seems somehow intended, part of the artist’s grand design. So too might the pale lavender blossoms of wisteria that frame the gray painted door tucked away in a hardscrabble industrial zone of lots and chain-link fencing.

By Dan Chiasson, June 3, 2015 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Speakers' Domestic Corner

Speakers' Domestic Corner, 2015
wood, plywood, acrylic, oil, paper
33 x 21 x 26 cm

Thursday, June 11, 2015

International summit on domestic affairs

The conference adopts as a starting point the historic and cultural constitution of what has become established as “domestic” in the western historico-cultural narrative, the revision of which is being widely debated today. Do we need to revise our understanding of what “domestic” means, and which politics of household and budget management at different levels – from the private household to the region, the city, the planet – are yielded by such a shift in perspective?
Household and budget management is one thing above all else: a navigation between scarcity and surplus. Food, globalisation and politics are thereby inextricably linked. In the context of the summit, a second panel will therefore address the complex coherencies between bread and politics. If today there is talk of a “global food system”, this refers to the extensive geographies tied in with food, to the conditions of agricultural production and the huge consumption of resources that underpins this production. How to feed the growing global population is one of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century. Food politics range from urban agriculture initiatives and organic farming to dealing with the post-colonial geographies of food.
A third panel, “Towards a global domestic revolution”, discusses new models of work beyond the working society, which are already inherent in the complex practice of housekeeping. Flexible models of home-work, precarious and underpaid employment, creative work and work-related migration are already part of everyday working life in the 21st century. Global budgets combine the incomes of transnational work-related migration, home-work and family networks. Transnational households, co-working and sharing suggest other practices of conveying the essence of domestic work and re-evaluating it. They circumvent the social hierarchies inherent to the evaluation of domestic labour and thereby reveal perspectives for an emancipation of domestic work beyond the “working society”.

Closing of the Haushaltsmesse 2015 with the international summit on domestic affairs, “The world. One Household”
7 to 9 August 2015 in the complex of Masters’ Houses;   

Haushaltsmesse 2015: The art of housekeeping and budgeting in the 21st century

How can we live in a healthy and 

economical way in the future?


AMETRIA is the privilege of disproportion, of excess, the rejection of an overall vision, the error that turns out to be right. Out of the meeting of the Benaki Museum and the DESTE Foundation, works and objects become proofs of an impulse that, as a precise and determinate entity, takes part in the evolution of thought.
Totally uninterested in the values of community life, which promotes the virtues of measure and the happy mean, dismeasure is the expression of an original purposeless drive, which chooses neither to have nor not to have and whose sole intention is to be exercised without reserve. The degree of dismeasure is dependent on just how radical is the drive that expresses it.
When a drive that dominates the field of consciousness finds a particular form, it becomes instigation, stirring opposition or prompting imitation. If the imitation overcomes by impulse the inclination to restraint, an epidemic phenomenon occurs that forces the community to change its way of thinking and behavior and its common action. An order of dismeasure can be extended to the point of becoming a conventional value, triggering a series of effects from the social environment to the natural person.

Original Drawing by C. A. Doxiadis prepared for his article “The Future of Copenhagen: Considerations in the Abstract", 1963

AMETRIA is organized by the DESTE Foundation in collaboration with the Benaki Museum.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Paysage desertique

Johannes Peter Holzinger, Paysage desertique (maquette)

Death Denial

By Marc Parry, May 22, 2015

The Traveler and his Shadow

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Cat's Cradle


Antonina Sofronova, “LOS”, 1920
Ink on paper, 28.8 x 21 cm

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

La Mer

Once in a while our table conversation might
concern the perception of the sea in Charles Trénet’s “La Mer”
which was recorded in the mid-forties.
I myself had grown up by an entirely different sea
but seemed to share
a sea which was not mine but yours:
I suggested that our perception
was determined by “a certain way of filming the sea”
which we associate with the forties –
black-and-white, of course, but above all
with slow, almost dawdling reflections of the sun,
single, slowly twinkling silver flashes
in the sea shot looking south,
in the sea at noon.
Black shadows in the foreground –
they make the soundless play of the sun
seem even more dazzling out at sea.
It is as if these dawdling reflections had given me access
to a world which was not mine –
for a moment I really believe
that communication is possible,
that the images have an inner life to convey,
see you on the Mediterranean beach:
the periphery is blurred but in the middle of the picture
the definition is so strong
that I see the glitter in the little girl’s eyes
where she stands in the glittering waves,
where she is overcome by the sea today,
by merely existing near a summer sea,
where without a doubt she hears voices shouting
though she cannot make out what they are saying in the surge
while the clouds imperceptibly have come to a halt
in the depth of the clearest of bays.

Jesper Svenbro
© Translation by John Matthias & Lars-Håkan Svensson

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Tirana Open 1

Tirana Open 1 presents the first of its kind initiative in the Balkans, bringing together under one umbrella an unprecedented array of Albanian and International cultural institutions presenting a rich multi-disciplinary program of exhibitions, events, and public interventions.
Reflecting on a city that is at once an old Roman center, Ottoman outpost, Italian Novecento archetype, Fascist utopian dream, an example of Stalinist brutalism, and finally, a model of contemporary (non) architecture run amok, Tirana Open 1 explores its locale as a vibrant lab of cultural hybridity and an alternative model for urban development and audience engagement.
Tirana Open 1 is an invitation to a pass-the-word that Tirana is the urban square that has no cultural barriers, but only porous borders of cultural belonging” says festival co- director Helidon Gjergji. “By inviting international cultural institutions to participate in this city-wide happening, we hope to make the local institutions and citizens of Tirana feel a bit like visitors in their own city, and to make visitors feel like citizens of Tirana. This is not a role play, but a playful reality.”

Kostis Velonis, How One Can Think Freely in the Shadow of a Temple, 2008, Video Mod HD, Duration : 2'45''

Pamur, the festival’s contemporary arts section, presents a special guest project by celebrated artist William Kentridge (South Africa), alongside a a juried competition of video art by prominent international and local artists, including Yuri Ancarani (Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino), Olivo Barbieri (MAXII, Rome), Henry Chapman (T293 Gallery, Naples), Donika Cina (Galeria e Vogël, Tirana), Alberto Di Fabio (Gagosian Gallery, London), Nathalie Djurberg (Museo Pascali, Polignano a Mare, DZT Collective (Stefano Romano & Eri Çobo) TICA (Tirana Institute of Contemporary Art, Tirana), Yllka Gjollesha (Zeta Gallery, Tirana), Elis Gjoni (Art Kontakt, Tirana), Felix Gmelin (Stacion - Center for Contemporary Art, Prishtina), Ibro Hasanovic (Tirana Art Lab, Tirana), Aurora Kalemi (Zenit Gallery, Tirana), Santiago Mostyn (Moderna Museet, Malmö), Alban Muja (Tulla Culture Center, Tirana), Marzena Nowak (Galerija Gregor Podnar, Berlin), Matilda Odobashi (FAB, Tirana), Anri Sala (Hauser & Wirth Gallery, Zurich), Sissi (MAM Foundation, Tirana), Cauleen Smith (Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago), Stefanos Tsivopoulos (Thessaloniki Center of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki), The Two Gullivers (Flutura Preka & Besnik Haxhillari) MAI (Marina Abramovic Institute, Hudson, New York), Nasan Tur (Blain/Southern Gallery, London), Nico Vascellari (The National Gallery of Arts, Tirana), Kostis Velonis (Kunsthalle Athena, Athens), Driant Zeneli (Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella). Granting an award named after the renown Albanian artist Danish Jukniu, competition jury includes Edoardo Bonaspetti (Mousse Magazine), Cathryn Drake (Artforum & Frieze Magazine), and Michele Robecchi (Phaidon). Artist Adrian Paci (Shkodër/Milano) will be delivering a featured artist talk.

Tirana Open 1 Directors: Arlinda Dudaj, Helidon Gjergji & Vladimir Myrtezai- Grosha. Tirana Open 1 is organized by Tirana Open, under the auspices of Edi Rama, Prime Minister, and the Ministry of Culture, Republic of Albania. 

 6-13 May 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

On the Shepherds' Play

On the Shepherds' Play, 2011-15
Video, duration 1'00''.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

What is it Good For ?

Alice Becker-Ho and Guy Debord playing the Game of War, 1977.

By Nathan Heller

Comme aux jeux de hasard

Comme aux jeux de hasard
Des règles sont posées
On va tenter la chance
faire preuve de la patience
on paiera pour voir

Comme aux jeux de hasard
Quand les des sont lancés
On les regarde rouler
Mais les jeux sont faits
Il est déjà trop tard

Alice Becker-Ho,1998


Lunch, 2014-15
Wood, paint, fabric, plaster, acrylic, oil, steel
63 x 56 x 27 cm

Monday, April 20, 2015

John Keats and ‘negative capability’

In December 1817 John Keats was returning from the Christmas pantomime with his friends Charles Wentworth Dilke and Charles Brown. On the walk home, he later told his brothers George and Tom, he got into a ‘disquisition’ with Dilke on a number of subjects:
several things dovetailed in my mind, & at once it struck me, what quality went to form a Man of Achievement especially in Literature & which Shakespeare possessed so enormously – I mean Negative Capability, that is when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason – Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half knowledge.[1]
It is a famous passage; and it is entirely characteristic of Keats that he should come up with one of his most telling phrases (‘Negative Capability’) in such an impromptu fashion, without preamble or lengthy explanation. His language is not immediately clear, but richly suggestive and idiosyncratic.

What does Keats mean by ‘negative capability’? Clearly, he is using the word ‘negative’ not in a pejorative sense, but to convey the idea that a person’s potential can be defined by what he or she does not possess – in this case a need to be clever, a determination to work everything out. Essential to literary achievement, Keats argues, is a certain passivity, a willingness to let what is mysterious or doubtful remain just that. His fellow poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, he suggests, would do well to break off from his relentless search for knowledge, and instead contemplate something beautiful and true (‘a fine verisimilitude’) caught, as if by accident, from the most secret part (‘Penetralium’) of mystery. The experience and intuitive appreciation of the beautiful is, indeed, central to poetic talent, and renders irrelevant anything that is arrived at through reason. Keats ends his brief discussion of negative capability by concluding that ‘with a great poet the sense of Beauty overcomes every other consideration, or rather obliterates all consideration’.
Article by Stephen Hebron

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser

Kaspar trying to teach a cat to walk on its hind legs.
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle), 1974.
Writ./Dir. by Werner Herzog.


Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Untitled (Composition with Squares, Circle, Rectangles, Triangles), 1918
Pearl cotton, coloured dyes , 61 x 62.5 cm

Friday, April 17, 2015

Incontro ravvicinato

Corrado Calabrò

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Rabbit with Axe

Gorleston Psalter, England 14th century, British Library, Add 49622, fol. 13v

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Edward Weston and Mabel Dodge Luhan Remember D. H. Lawrence and Selected Carmel-Taos Connections

This article is in essence a chapter of a book in progress on the familial relationships between the Schindler and Weston families, from their separate Chicago years through their bohemian social circles in Los Angeles and Carmel in the 1920s and 1930s. For now I plan to end the book in 1938 when Weston married Charis Wilson and built his home in Carmel Highlands and the Schindlers divorced and began living separate lives under the same roof in their iconic RMS-designed Kings Road House. My working title for the book is The Schindlers and the Westons: An Avant-Garde Friendship. Their fascinatingly interwoven lives and relationships remained avant-garde to the end. As always, I welcome your feedback on any of my pieces.

Text  by  John Crosse

Taos Pueblo, R. M. Schindler photo, October 1915.

Sunday, March 29, 2015


Reserve, 2014
Wood, acrylic, canvas 
46 x 29 cm


John Latham, Still and Chew invitation. Image copyright The Estate of Barry Flanagan, courtesy Bridgeman Art Library.

Pataphysics provides a framework for dialogues between Barry Flanagan and John Latham. ’Pataphysics is defined by its inventor, Alfred Jarry, the Symbolist poet and writer, as ‘the science of imaginary solutions.’  It preoccupied Flanagan from the early 1960s before he enrolled on the Advanced Sculpture Course at St Martin’s School of Art in 1964, where he met John Latham who was at that time teaching in the painting department.

Establishing the common ground is not difficult and it is logical that Latham and Flanagan would have gravitated towards each other in order to discuss paradoxes and contradictions of making art. Discussions of monetary and aesthetic value lead to considering how these systems are determined by time. This includes questions of labour cost, how much is time worth and by whom this is measured. These  quantifications affect how we think – whether something is worthwhile or not worthwhile depends on criteria. Holding onto the concept of ‘not knowing’, of casting the yes/no and either/or paradigms aside, even if only temporarily as an impossible aim is hard. This is due to its slippery character as much as a self-conscious societal need for accountability. ’Pataphysics, is properly denoted with the apostrophe before the letter p, as if to close a previous speech mark and thus mark a metaphorical circularity, or to put it another way, an ending before a beginning. This circularity of intention is a primary characteristic of pataphysical thinking and which is frequently symbolised by the spiral form. The movement is similar to the palindrome, which is a paradoxical forward-backward relationship. This exhibition will illuminate their collaborative and shared concerns beginning with the notorious Still and Chew happening, when the formalist critic Clement Greenberg’s recently published collection of essays Art and Culture was systematically chewed to a pulp in 1966. Flanagan’s catch phrase ‘examine the facts’ provides a curatorial key.

Exhibition curated by Jo Melvin, Palindromes looks at ’pataphysics and transactions between Barry Flanagan and John Latham

2 April–17 May 2015
Flat Time House, London

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Installation with torn strips of linen

Marie Lieb, Installation with torn strips of linen, designed on the floor of the psychiatric hospital where she lived, Germany, c. 1894 Collection Prinzhorn, Heidelberg, Germany.
No detailed information about Marie Lieb’s life is known. She was hospitalized in the Heidelberg clinic in 1894 diagnosed with “periodic mania”. Only two photographs survive as evidence of her distinctive style. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Birth of the Robot

DirectorLen Lye
Production CompanyShell-Mex
ProducerLen Lye
ScriptC.H. David
PhotographyAlex Strasser
Colour Decor & ProductionHumphrey Jennings
Sound RecordingJack Ellitt

A puppet fantasy advertising Shell Lubrication oils. A man motoring in the desert dies and, with the help of Shell Mex oil, is reconstructed as the company's trademark robot.

Art In The Age Of…Energy and Raw Material

Nicholas Mangan, A World Undone, 2012 (video still)HD colour, silent, 12 min continuous loop

Witte de With kicks off its 25th anniversary with Art In The Age Of…, a three-part presentation series that investigates future vectors of art production in the 21st century, highlighting the circulation of art and its underlying economies rather than its territorial location, its spread and infectious expanse rather than its arrest within narrowly defined genealogies and media. These presentations focus on the role of raw materials, destruction, and computation within art’s creation and its dispersal. With the core question: how does the creation of art relate to the flow of energy, or to algorithms; which infrastructures will it be parasiting in the 21st century?
Art In The Age Of… is presented throughout 2015 with frameworks dedicated to Energy and Raw Material, Planetary Computation (22 May – 23 August 2015) and Asymmetrical Warfare(11 September 2015 – 3 January 2016) opening May 21 and September 10 respectively.
The first installment of Art In The Age Of… focuses on how forms of energy and raw material shape, or are narrated by, contemporary artistic practices. Since early times art objects have drifted with the motion and transformation of raw materials like wheat, minerals, and cotton. How does contemporary art relate to geothermal energy? To oil, gas, or alternative sources such as the sun? Could it even fly on rays of cosmic energy?
The installation Strobank by artist duo MAP Office examines wheat, its distribution and symbolic capital, alongside a history of the stock market’s trading pit. Nina Canell meditates upon the the loss of information and energy that occurs during processes of transference in her sculptural constellation of stumps and cross-sections of telecommunication and power cables, each becoming sentences cut-off mid-flow or instances of material forgetfulness. In Children of UnquietMikhail Karikis interweaves sound recordings of geothermal activity and industry in Larderello, Italy, with a cinematic and cultural history of Dante’s Inferno, whose vision of hell was inspired by that very location. Anton Vidokle’s This is Cosmos turns its eyes to the stars and charts the Cosmism movement in Russia and its disavowal of death through cosmic energy, positing the medium of film itself as an irradiation treatment. Through image and archive, Céline Condorelli addresses the relationship between Egypt’s cotton industry and its nationalization after Nasser’s revolution. Zircon, a 4,400-million-year-old mineral is excavated, dematerialized and reanimated in Nicholas Mangan’s A World Undone, whilst material is mapped to stock market fluctuations in Talk About the Weather. In Marlie Mulsculptural series Puddles, messy dark matter glistens and seeps, contaminated by human interaction.
The exhibition includes  Petrocultures, a section devoted to films, adverts and ephemera related to the development of the iconography of oil, curated by Natasha Hoare and  Sophie Rzepecky.  With thanks to Natasha Ginwala and Adam Kleinman.
Alongside artist presentations, a dedicated research blog has been founded.  This blog will track the development of Art in the Age of… Exhibitions for 2015 and acts as a visual reader accompanying artists work:
Art In The Age Of… Energy and Raw Material
23 January – 3 May 2015
Team: Defne Ayas, Natasha Hoare, Samuel Saelamakers.
Canell, Nina 
Condorelli, Celine 
Karikis, Mikhail 
Mangan, Nicholas 
MAP Office 
Mul, Marlie